NOTE: This is a PowerPoint Presentation
Assignment Instructions: Pretend you are a juror at the Salon of 1874, the year the first impressionist exhibition was held. Your criteria for judging submissions to the official art exposition are very different from what those young, avant-garde art rebels are doing. You have a traditional set of standards.
- Step 1: Review the aesthetic criteria demanded by the Academy.
- Step 2: Rate each painting according to the standards listed: Accepted or Rejected by the Salon.
- Step 3: Categorize the following 6 images according to Salon standards. Accepted images go into the Salon of Traditional Paintings, rejected images go into the Salon of Avant-garde Paintings.
- Step 4: For each image, explain why the painting was accepted or rejected based on the following Salon criteria. How does each image fit or reject the salon standards? What is traditional or avant-garde about each image?
- Step 5: Create a PowerPoint with each image and your written assessments (1 image/assessment per slide) to upload to Blackboard. The description must be at least 200 words.
- Ã‰douard Manet, The Railway, 1873.Link to Manet’s Railway
- Ferdinand Humbert, Virgin, Infant Jesus, St. John the Baptist, 1874. Link to Humbertâ€™s Virgin
- Edgar Degas, The Ballet Class, 1874. Link to Degasâ€™ Ballet Class
- Berthe Morisot, The Cradle, 1872. Link to Morisotâ€™s Cradle
- Claude Monet, Poppies (Walk in Field of Poppies). Link to Monetâ€™s Poppies
- LÃ©on Bonnat, Crucifixion, 1874. Link to Bonnatâ€™s Christ
From the seventeenth century to the early part of the twentieth century, artistic production in France was controlled by artistic academies which organized official exhibitions called Salons. In France, academies are institutions and learned societies which monitor, foster, critique and protect French cultural production. For most of the nineteenth-century, the Salon was the only way to exhibit your work and to establish your reputation and make a living as an artist. From 1863 onward, art rebels, or avant-garde artists, pioneered new techniques and experimented with daring subject matter that broke with Salon guidelines. These avant-garde artists propelled art in a new direction and sometimes exhibited in separate unofficial Salons such as the Salon des RefusÃ©s (Salon of Rejects) in 1863 and the Impressionist Exhibition of 1874 (the first of eight Impressionist exhibitions held from 1874â€“1886). All of the works in this assignment were part of the Salon or Impressionist Salon held in 1874. How would you categorize and assess the works listed in this assignment according to traditional Salon Guidelines?
STANDARD 1: ART IS ACCOMPLISHED IN THE STUDIO, NOT IN NATURE.
Although studies made in nature are necessary and can even have a certain immediate appeal, they are not fully realized works of art. Finished paintings are made in the workshop where the elements of art can be applied to elevate a sketch that merely records the artistâ€™s observation to the exalted level of Art.
STANDARD 2: FINISH, FINISH, FINISH.
Paintings should be finished so that the hand of the artist is not visible. We need only remember the advice of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: â€œThe touch, however clever, must not be obvious.â€ The brushstrokes of the artist, when visible, detract from illusion and direct attention away from the painting, and toward the painter, in an unseemly way.
STANDARD 3: LINE OVER COLOR.
Artists should focus on line over color. Line is intellectual whereas color is emotional. Artists should use light and shade for contour and color should only be used sparingly and truthfully. As our fellow academician Charles Blanc so aptly noted in 1867, â€œthe union of drawing and color is required . . . but drawing must keep its supremacy over color. Otherwise, painting will go to ruin; it will be damned by color as humanity was by Eve.â€
STANDARD 4: MASTERY OF THE NUDE IS PARAMOUNT.
The nude figure should be idealized and follow ancient Greek standards for perfection in form and harmony of parts. It is important to note that nude is not naked; the human figure must be idealized above the imperfection, even ugliness, of reality.
STANDARD 5: LESSONS MUST BE LEARNED FROM THE MASTERS OF THE PAST.
Artists should study the old masters because they teach artists to see. The study and adaptation of the old masters serves to enliven portraiture and history painting
STANDARD 6: RESPECT THE HIERARCHY OF GENRES.
Viewers must understand the subject of what they see. Furthermore, it must fit within recognized types. Within these types, a certain order of rank prevails, as established by founding academicians in the seventeenth century. First come history paintings (scenes from the Bible, history, or mythology) and other scenes composed from the imagination; then come portraiture, landscape, and finallyâ€”last and leastâ€”still life.
Academic Art: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_art
French Art Salons and Academies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_art_salons_and_academies
KhanAcademy: Beginners Guide to Impressionism: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becoming-modern/avant-garde-france/impressionism/a/a-beginners-guide-to-impressionism
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Impressionism: Art and Modernity: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/imml/hd_imml.htm
Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Salon and the Royal Academy in the Nineteenth Century. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/sara/hd_sara.htm
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